Recovering saddles is another service I offer but, due to the wide range of designs available, some saddles are trickier than others.  Occasionally I turn jobs down if I don’t think it’ll work out but, given that this particular restoration project is all about originality, a recovery was always going to be attempted on Rita’s saddle.  Probably original to the bike and with no branding or stamping whatsoever, I’ve not managed to ID it thus far.

The first task was to bend the rails back into shape – no idea how they got this way.  Next I carefully removed the corrosion from the rails which revealed a fair amount of chrome loss (later on I used a little spray of chrome paint to smarten them up).  Then I removed the old faux suede covering – keeping it as a guide to the replacement material – checked over the foam padding and cleaned up the underside.  Using real leather (reclaimed – as always – from a used garment) which I reversed for a suede covering, the top of the saddle was glued on first and left to set overnight.  Next day the excess material was trimmed off before I glued the edges onto the underside.  I finished off by using a little black tack to gather up and hold the material for the nose area together – this last stage is the always trickiest and the best method varies from one saddle to another.

The only jobs left to do now are to brush up the suede, smarten the rails up again – they got a little scratched during the recovery stage – and fit to the bike!

Part 9 – Respray
Part 7 – Wheelbuilding